What is ballooning?
Ballooning is a common problem that affects many ostomates. As the name suggests, ballooning is when excess air collects in your stoma bag and forces it to blow up like a balloon. It’s the sort of thing that can keep you awake at night and cause embarrassment when you’re out and about. But there are ways to prevent and control it.
What causes ballooning?
Ballooning is mainly caused by food and drink and how gassy they make you. Some foods that are known to cause gas include asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, eggs, garlic, onions, peanuts and grapes. Carbonated drinks and fizzy beer are also known to increase gas. Other things that can cause gas include eating too fast, skipping meals, drinking through a straw or regularly chewing gum.
How to prevent ballooning
You can help to prevent ballooning by limiting some of the food and drink listed above. Keep a food diary to see which items are triggering a gassy episode so you can avoid them. Eat slowly and chew your food well, drinking plenty of water in between meals.
There are also certain foods that are thought to reduce gas. These include buttermilk, cranberry juice, parsley and yoghurt. It also makes sense to always choose a stoma bag with a good filter. The latest stoma bags have technology built into them which is specifically designed to eliminate ballooning and odour.